By 1980 the slasher (or slice and dice) genre had taken its first steps into true movie stardom, largely due to the success of John Carpenter's Halloween — which also happened to turn Jamie Lee Curtis into a star at the same time). In fact, so successful was the film that inspired a whole lot of other people to try their hands at low budget horror filmmaking to see if they could come up with similar results. The motivation, for the most part, wasn't much more than that.
With that in mind, at the time writer Victor Miller and director Sean S. Cunningham certainly couldn't have imagined that their creation — hockey mask-wearing serial killer Jason Voorhees — would still be scaring the crap out of audiences nearly 40 years later. Whether on film, in video games (the most recent released earlier this year) or in novels, Jason most definitely lives. You simply can't kill the bastard.
In an interview with Horror News.net, Miller explained that in 1979 Cunningham called him and said, "Halloween is making a lot of money, let's rip it off." He watched the film — despite the fact that he wasn't a horror fan — and sorted out the concept.
"The first and most important element for Friday was finding a place where teenagers can't be helped by the outside world," he said. "The hardest part was selecting a place where adults couldn't help, and — it's so obvious in retrospect — I came up with a summer camp and we were off and running."
As to why Jason Voorhees — the movie killer whose adventures are chronicled below — connected with audiences and has continued to do so, in an interview with tvstoreonline.com, the writer added, "I think the timing was right and Sean really assembled the right people. There isn't a CGI effect that can be done that can rival anything that [makeup designer] Tom Savini can do. It just worked. It was perfect. My contribution to that was giving them the most unlikely villain in the medium up to that point."
Get ready to relive all the blood and mayhem that turned Jason, and Friday The 13th, into a star.
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